Thursday 31 December 2015

New Year

"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East."
from us  all in the Duchy of Tradgardland.


Uptown with the girls on Hogmanay morning- church,coffee and then a wee look about. I popped to the model shop for some static grass. I did buy the static grass and then came away with this too-
The Edinburgh connection was too much and I succumbed to temptation. I have been reading around the model railway hobby for some time through magazines and books.This is my first purchase of anything more.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Dragon Rampant first games.

Yesterday I played my first game of  Dragon Rampant. In good faith I had meant to read the rules thoroughly before the game but I had not got round to it. I just managed to scribble on some roster sheets prior to Richard's coming - yesterday had run away from me.
We played two games- one with my ME figures and one with his GW ones-
The wolves come snarling into contact.
The wolves flee the field.

Trolls in background,Uruks take the fight to the horsemen who lost in the end. I had not bothered to check points values and the horsemen were not "beefed up " enough in terms of add ons to their Heavy horse definition. Even the hero in a reduced unit as Elite Horse could not prevail. A good fun game though I lost.
In the second game we were obviously a little better acquainted with the mechanisms of the rules. I commanded the dwarfs.-
The dwarfs await the wolf riders...
The trolls flee the dwarf bowmen and the orc berserkers run from the field.
All in all a most enjoyable afternoon.The rules delivered in a pleasing "old school" way and deserve further study from me to add subtleties the rulebook has to offer. I would recommend you to give them a go ,you'll certainly not regret it.In fact they will I think provide a renaissance in fantasy gaming. 

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Dragon Rampant and a gift...

Richard popped round pm for our first go of Dragon Rampant ( photos and first thoughts tomorrow) and gave me this lovely figure-
I know nothing about it. Anyone recognise it?


This morning I walked to the local sorting office to collect a parcel I had missed on Christmas Eve. It was a recent ebay purchase. Upon return I opened the outer packaging to reveal a charming little box-
Anyone read German and tell me what it says?
The whole box is covered in this design-
Inside I found some figures and scenery for my 40mm Counterpania project-
 I am very pleased with these indeed :)

Monday 28 December 2015

Tolkien for Dragon Rampant...

I wondered how people had defined the Nazgul,Ringwraiths,Uruk Hai etc for Dragon Rampant? I started a thread on Lead Adventure about this and got this reply from Sun Jester-

"Funny enough, I've just been thinking about the same thing.

So far I've just been looking at the assorted orcs and haven't thought about more powerful things like Nazgul yet
One thing is, do you judge the stats by the actual figure, or what it is representing in Middle Earth? Most orc models are substantially larger than their book equivalent. I've decided to go with how they are represented in the actual books, ignoring their relative size to standard men.So I am thinking so far:
Orc chieftain/leader with bodyguard, Heavy offensive foot.
Large orcs
If access to good armouries (Mordor Uruks, Isengard Uruk-hai etc) either Heavy offensive foot or Bellicose foot with Shiny Armour.
Otherwise, Bellicose foot
Soldier orcs ("average" sized orcs), Light offensive foot, can be mixed weapons.
Snaga (little orcs), Light offensive foot and Fearful, can be mixed weapons.
Possibly have the odd unit of Orc archers, Scouts."

Any other thoughts appreciated for the  above, Beorn etc etc...

Sunday 27 December 2015

A Tradgardland Sunday morning

This is the scene on the kitchen table mid morning ,
after Stollen and coffee was taken post Church. Basing proceeding well (for a forthcoming game of Dragon Rampant on Tuesday) whilst listening to " I'm sorry I haven't a Clue" on BBC Radio I player. It is such an enjoyable radio programme and often has me laughing out loud.
In case anyone is interested in David Jones here is a wee link to an article on him-
Have a good day whatever you are doing.

Saturday 26 December 2015


We all had a good day at my Sister-in law's in Edinburgh for a enjoyable  family Christmas with singing,games and good food etc. It was preceded by Church in Dunfermline and present opening. I was happy not to have lead as presents from the girls as I have loads to be getting on with-
I was delighted with a cafetiere in Tradgardland colours, a dvd about a female gardener at the court of Louis xiv , a home made book token to spend , a lovely box of matches and a beautifully illustrated copy of the Snow Queen.
In the greater family secret santa ( three ideas given and you get one of them)  I got the book I most wanted-
Today we three are cooking Christmas dinner at home (on Boxing Day) basing Mythical Earth Figures, reading and having a quiet day together.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Organising and rebasing for Dragon Rampant

Decided to rebase my Mythical Earth chaps for Dragon Rampant-
Firstly the Rohirrim above - 3 x Heavy riders (one with bows) and a reduced unit with hero.
Next the opposition-
Trolls-Heavy foot, orc scouts- as scouts and Uruk -Hai as Bellicose foot (probably the best category- what do you think.
Ancient figures, new rules ,huzzah I say!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

A festive Tradgardland

Christmas approaches in the Duchy of Tradgardland. Naval officers hurry across the square
to feast and drink this cold ,starlit evening.
A young chap waves farewell to the guard as they return to barracks and a hot meal. So ends another day.

Oh Christmas tree !

We put up our tree the other day-
We have had it a few years now and it has survived another year of growing in a pot in the garden.
Here is a decoration that has been on family trees since the 1920s-

Monday 21 December 2015

Forty mm fantasy fellows on the workbench

Dragon Rampant arrived today and has been well worth the wait. In anticipation of it's arrival I have been working on some fantasy types to go with my 40mm figures-
Here is one of those collectable Hobbit figures that come in a wee bag. I have added a modelling clay shaggy cape and repositioned arms. I include a 40mm viking for scale. An acceptable giant I feel.
Again a 40mm viking for scale. The chap in the middle was bought from a garden centre "fairy" range and is as he came. The chap on the right is another hobbit wee bag collectable figure (probably of Gollum) with added hair and axe.Acceptable trolls/ogres I feel.
As for Dragon Rampant it is lovely to see the old school figures used as illustrations especially the ME wizard on page 46.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Winter Quarters

School has broken up and I am in winter quarters here in the Duchy of Tradgardland. The 40mm highlanders arrived and I shall post pictures later. Thanks for the mention of Prof Duffy's new book ,I shall pick it up over the festive season. Dragon Rampant is out and I await it's arrival here in the Duchy.
Apart from family outings I intend to do as little as possible- a potter with paints ( no targets, no self imposed demands) and some small games solo and otherwise. I have just started a email based campaign set around 1909 which is splendid fun so far.
It is a time to read ,reflect, post on the blog and recharge batteries. I finished "Outlander" and " The Last Kingdom" and have just begun "Vikings" season 1. Amazon Prime has more than paid for itself in usefulness and entertainment. I leave you with my favourite Advent hymn below. Have a good Saturday one and all.

Of the Father's Love Begotten - traditional a capella chior

Thursday 17 December 2015


Having returned home to a letter from Parcel Force requiring me to pay £15 customs before I can get my 40mm Jacobites I am less than happy. I paid over the phone - a tedious button pressing/waiting excercise. They will hopefully come tomorrow...
Anyhow I have been getting in a Jacobite mood of late-
 I am enjoying it but find it a tad depressing at times and do not like to see the noble Brutus debased. I live near/visit many of the places used in the filming and that is fun too. I would be interested in what you all made of the programme.
I also have been doing some reading-
 to aid painting and get a flavour again of the times. Handy what one can find on the Osprey shelf  here in the Duchy.
Magazine at the right arrived today and is a most enjoyable read from the USA which has become a firm favourite with me.

Monday 14 December 2015

Interesting Kickstarter

Evening all,just a quick post to mention a splendid new kickstarter I have signed up for-

Wonderful 28mm hobbits/halflings in medieval armour.Do follow the link and have a look and maybe even support this venture...

Thursday 10 December 2015

Further arrivals

These splendid chaps were waiting for me on my return from work today-
Some High Command mounted and dismounted,including the exotic zebra riders!
General infantry and some bandsmen in the bottom left hand corner.
A further view of the band...
Two enigmatic figures which I assume represent radio operators. What do you think?

Wednesday 9 December 2015


On a torrential rain filled day in the Duchy my eldest daughter arrived home for Christmas ( with her boyfriend who is stopping here en route to England) having finished this term's work.
These two arrived in the post-
Background reading for some forthcoming gaming with the 40mm semi flats...
Another parcel needed to be collected too-
Bloody Day (formerly known as Vendel) miniatures from across the Atlantic to be used for some Middle Earth gaming with Dragon Rampant. The charming giant (pictured) reminds me of the illustrations of Pauline Baynes which I loved as a boy and still do.
He will be a joy to paint.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Back from the future or Ye Jacobites awa...

As I speak some 40mm Jacobites are winging their way across the oceans to the Duchy of Tradgardland. A very generous deal has been struck in my favour and I am indebted to Rob for facilitating this. More details when the figures arrive...

The long and the short of it is that I intend to revist the campaigns that I was involved in with Bill Protz and others on Emperor v Elector around seven years ago on this blog. Der Alte Fritz and others fought out the campaign with a few Tradgardland troops sent for the occasion and myriad of their own.The campaign narrative and incidents were imagineered and story telling took place on my blog.It was tremendous fun.
To cut a long story short it involved Jacobites exiles and Tradgardland troops sailing for the north of Scotland and raising the banner for the true king. Adventures ensued and the rest was history.
So the Tradgardlanders will once more set sail for Scotland and rendezvous with Highland clans - all in glorious 40mm. I can't wait!

Tuesday 1 December 2015

To be or not to be based?

I have been having a long hard think about the semi flats since I saw them en masse at the weekend. I am considering basing them ( say ,off hand, in fours or sixes on 60x40 or 60x60 mm) as one base units.It would make them easier to handle (but not so to store- they currently store flat ,layer upon layer) and they wouldn't fall over when clumsy me knocks the table.I do like the look of based figures as well as presenting the opportunity for based vignettes for command elements etc. However unbased has an old school,Wellsian look that appeals too. A quandary indeed.What do you think?

Sunday 29 November 2015

Who are you?

A picture of some figures I am trying to identify-
The two on the left are fully rounded and have quite a chunky feel to them. The two on the right appear to be wearing shorts and are semi flats. Anyone recognise them?

Saturday 28 November 2015

Grand Review

At Bob's suggestion, in his comment to the previous post, I got all the 40mm-70mm homecast semi flats out on the table together for the very first time-
 I was taken aback by the number I had amassed over the time I have been collecting.

There are more than enough to fight a rebellion in the North West again Army Red!

A lot of Army Black/Cornflower Blue etc for 1900 games.

Loads of figures  (slightly smaller and thinner) for 1920s games.
All in all quite a gathering including this semi -flat tank. I am rather keen to buy some more. Does anyone know of other semi -flat tanks or vehicles that were made?

Friday 27 November 2015

Multi coloured Friday

Here are some pictures of the latest bunch of  semi flats to arrive -

As you can see the previous owner has painted them in quite a variety of colours.
The chaps in kepis I am considering using as Danes/Tradgardlanders and the cowboys/indians will fight alongside each other in a North West Rebellion affair against Army Red.The wee ones near the orange on the plate will join Army Black. The amount of semi flat homecasts has got rather large overtime and I am thinking of redefining Counterpania to fit in with the collection...

Sunday 22 November 2015

40mm semi flat highlanders- do they exist?

Yesterday at Targe I saw some Jacobite relics and weapons on the Cran Tara stand and also a lovely 28mm battle of Preston game. It got me thinking...
I quite fancy getting some 40mm Jacobite Highlanders ( not to mention lowland regiments)  to oppose my semi flat British infantry and cavalry. Anyone know who makes such figures or moulds? Or perhaps my best bet is Saber and Sash 40mm figures?
Incidentally does anyone make dismounted 40mm British dragoons for Clifton Moor ?

Saturday 21 November 2015


Off northwards to Kirriemuir later today for the annual wargames show- Targe. Normally a good show with tempting trader's stalls. Perhaps see some of you there...

P.S Craft Fayre at St Columba's High School Dunfermline this morning from 10.00 onwards. My daughter will be present ( along with her entourage) with her craft stall- look out for Spotty Seal-

Friday 20 November 2015


I have been a tad up and down of late and have advanced my projects very little. I have been enjoying BBC tv's "Parade's End" on dvd and have kept faith with "The Last Kingdom" on tv too.I have enjoyed reading some model railway  magazines too. I had great fun  gluing and sticking with GW Empire bits and other odds and ends to begin to create a Frostgrave warband-
Absorbing and distracting inspite of prising superglued fingers apart...

Saturday 7 November 2015

The road goes ever on

I remember in First Year my English Master ( Mr Green at Melville College) reading us the first chapter of this book-
He then closed the book and said if we wished to find out what happens we had to read on ourselves!
At a book stand on a London railway platform I bought this on the way to France with the school-

for the princely sum of £2.10.
The books have been part of my life ever since. I have read  more of Tolkien since.I have been inspired by his faith and moved when standing by his graveside.
As a school boy I got the Mythical Earth Minifigs and enjoyed many a game with them.As an adult I bought the first GW figures as a distraction when my middle child was ill. This seems to be a good time for  the start of another Middle Earth project...
I have re-collected Mythical Earth figures for larger games but am looking for a smaller skirmish/wee battle set up. I have decided to use Dan Mersey's forthcoming " Dragon Rampant" rules. What I have read of them leads me to think they will meet my needs.
After quite a bit of reflecting I have decided upon Wood Elves v Mirkwood nasties. Wood elves will be Vendel miniatures with their opponents from the same source supplemented by other bits and bobs. The first Mirkwood nasty is sheer nostalgia and arrived recently-
An old friend whose kin scuttled across my Seventies battles in lurid gloss black and red paint.
Have a good weekend one and all.

Sunday 1 November 2015


I have been moving some projects forward this weekend-
Beginning to sort my pre-painted 40mm figures into units and base them. By the end of Saturday all were based and some bases painted during Strictly.
The figures below ( sorry about the awful photo quality) were at the bottom of the box. They are about 54mm tall (?) and I wonder if anyone recognises the manufacturer?
I will use them as generals as they have a commanding air about them.
Below is the scene  in Tradgardland around midday today-
The Minifigs are painting up well for the portable ecw game. Figures are based on 50mm square  bases. They are based as follows on each base- 3 cavalry or 6 pike or  6 musket  with 5 to denote raw musketeers instead and 4 or 5 for clubmen.The old school figures have a charm that many of the uber detailed ones of today lack. Cricket (England v Pakistan) is on courtesy of BBC radio iplayer and the essential coffee mug ( Emma Bridgewater) is there too. I hope you are enjoying your Sunday whatever you are doing.